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Fine Arts: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual Arts


The Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual Arts degree program provides students with comprehensive knowledge and practice in the field of visual arts. The core of the degree is a strong studio curriculum focusing on the ideas and technical processes of producing contemporary art. The Fine Arts curriculum is complemented through access to a broad liberal arts education emphasizing the development of effective academic writing, verbal communication, and presentation skills.

Grounded in theory and practice, students develop aesthetic judgment, professional knowledge, disciplinary expertise, and the collaborative critical thinking skills required to prepare them for direct entry into today's creative economy.

The diverse needs of visual arts students are met in a vibrant environment with outstanding facilities, studios, exhibition spaces, visiting artists, student exchange programs, and opportunities for working with the community. Personal and professional development is encouraged as the degree prepares students to be practicing artists and contributing global citizens.

Key features of the B.F.A., Visual Arts degree include the following:

  • An emphasis on contemporary studio arts in two-dimensional (drawing, painting, print media, photography, digital media), three-dimensional (sculpture, ceramics, installation), and performance art.
  • A thorough grounding in modern and contemporary art history and critical theory that helps students explore issues in their own work and that of others.
  • A commitment to a student-centred teaching environment, small class sizes, and easy access to qualified faculty working and contributing in their field of practice and research.
  • The preparation of students for entry into the cultural industries and creative economies sector of the labour market through incorporation of essential skills training into the curriculum, including cross-disciplinary applications of studio, art history and theory, and practice.
  • Focus on theoretical, methodological, and applied understanding and skills required for employment and/or further studies in postgraduate education programs.
  • A solid liberal arts background that will prepare students to be creative and critical thinkers.
  • Dedicated studio space for 4th year B.F.A. students.

The B.F.A. Visual Arts degree offers first and second year studio courses in the areas of drawing, painting, digital media, photography, print media, ceramics, and sculpture. Courses in art history, visual culture and theory, and professional practices support the foundation years' studio offerings. These foundation courses are designed to develop expertise in a number of disciplines and offer a combination of technical knowledge, creative thinking, and critical content. There is flexibility within the structure of the program that allows students in third and fourth year to continue to explore foundation level, studio electives. This allows upper-level students to continue to broaden their artistic understanding and skills that, in turn, inform their third and fourth year art practice.

The rigorous foundation that students gain upon completion of the first two years of the degree requirements prepares them for a productive experience as they move to the upper level courses in the third and fourth years of the degree. The core of our advanced studio courses is an open format where students are able to work in a variety of disciplines within the same course. The student will work with a single or cross-disciplinary approach depending on their critical and creative concerns. The final two semesters of the fourth year allows students to focus a greater amount of research on their personal art practice, culminating in their final exhibition. This strong upper-level studio core of the degree is supported by courses in a variety of areas. Art History continues to offer curriculum in the upper levels concentrating on specific art movements and special topics courses that directly complement studio offerings, while students also have access to special topics within the studio arts that prepare them for more focused engagement in both creative and professional pursuits.

Admission Requirements

The Faculty's Admission Requirements, which consist of KPU's undergraduate English Proficiency Requirement, apply to this program.

Declaration Requirements

Students intending to graduate with this Faculty of Arts Bachelor’s degree must declare the credential by the time they complete 60 credits of undergraduate coursework. At the time of declaration, the student must satisfy all of the following requirements:

  • In good academic standing with the University
  • Completion of a minimum of 18 credits of undergraduate coursework, including the following with a minimum grade of “C”:
    • 3 credits of ENGL at the 1100 level or higher
    • 15 credits of FINA or ARTH courses, including ARTH 1121, FINA 1100, FINA 1167, and FINA 1175

Curricular Requirements

Students will achieve a B.F.A., Visual Arts by completing a minimum of 120 credit hours with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0, plus a minimum grade of ‘C’ in all required courses. Successful entry into third year “Advanced Studio and Seminar I” will require a CGPA of 2.0 or higher plus a minimum grade of ‘B-’ in one second year studio course. In addition to satisfying all the essential requirements listed, students must complete at least 96 of the 120 credits in FINA/ARTH subjects, and at least 42 credits of FINA/ARTH at the 3rd and 4th year levels.

Note: A first-year English course, ENGL 1100, is a requirement of this program. This course has prerequisites that may require a student to complete additional preparatory courses.

The following are program requirements of the B.F.A., Visual Arts:

  • 6-credit writing requirement comprising ARTH 1120 and an ENGL course numbered 1100 or higher to be completed within the first 60 credits taken.
  • 24-credit breadth requirement consisting of courses outside of Fine Arts (FINA) and Art History (ARTH). Students will choose electives according to their interests from the Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences, Mathematics, Business, Trades and Technology. A minimum of nine credits must be taken from the Humanities area (including English 1100).

All FINA/ARTH courses are 3 credits except FINA 4300 and 4400, which are both 6 credits.

1000 and 2000 Level

In the first 60 credits of the BFA program, all students must complete:

All of:
  ARTH 1120 History of Western Art: Prehistoric to Early Renaissance 3 credits
  ARTH 1121 History of Western Art: Renaissance to the 20th Century 3 credits
  One ENGL course numbered 1100 or higher 3 credits
  FINA 1100 Introduction to Drawing 3 credits
  FINA 1167 Introduction to Visual Culture: Look Now! 3 credits
  FINA 1175 Form, Structure and Materials 3 credits
  FINA 1200 Drawing II 3 credits
  FINA 2147 Issues in Contemporary Art I 3 credits
And at least 27 of 1000 and 2000 level studio electives:
  FINA 1110 Introduction to Painting 3 credits
  FINA 1130 Ceramics I 3 credits
  FINA 1131 Sculpture I 3 credits
  FINA 1135 Introduction to Digital Media 3 credits
  FINA 1142 Introduction to Print Media 3 credits
  FINA 1145 Monotype – The Painted Print 3 credits
  FINA 1170 Introduction to Film Photography 3 credits
  FINA 1210 Painting II 3 credits
  FINA 1230 Ceramics II 3 credits
  FINA 1231 Sculpture II 3 credits
  FINA 1242 Print Media II 3 credits
  FINA1270 Photography II 3 credits
  FINA 2135 Digital Media: Design in Contemporary Art 3 credits
  FINA 2235 Digital Media: Interactive Art on the Web 3 credits
  FINA 2270 Digital Photography 3 credits
  FINA 2300 Advanced Drawing I 3 credits
  FINA 2310 Advanced Painting I 3 credits
  FINA 2330 Ceramics III 3 credits
  FINA 2331 Sculpture III 3 credits
  FINA 2335 Digital Media: Video and Installation 3 credits
  FINA 2342 Advanced Print Media 3 credits
  FINA 2370 Photography III 3 credits
  FINA 2400 Advanced Drawing II 3 credits
  FINA 2410 Advanced Painting II 3 credits
  FINA 2430 Ceramics IV 3 credits
  FINA 2431 Sculpture IV 3 credits
  FINA 2442 Print Media IV 3 credits
  Including at least 3 credits of ARTH:
  ARTH 1130 Introduction to Film Studies 3 credits
  ARTH 2122 Art in Flux: The Modern period 3 credits
  ARTH 2124 Indigenous Art 3 credits
  ARTH 2126 Canadian Art 3 credits
  ARTH 2222 Art:1945 to the Present 3 credits

3000 and 4000 Level

In order to satisfy the requirements of the BFA, Visual Arts program, students must complete at least 42 upper-level ARTH/FINA credits of study including the following required courses:

All of:
  FINA 3100 Advanced Studio Practice and Seminar I 3 credits
  FINA 3111 Professional Practices 3 credits
  FINA 3200 Advanced Studio Practice and Seminar II 3 credits
  FINA 4300 Advanced Studio Practice and Thesis I 6 credits
  FINA 4400 Advanced Studio Practice and Thesis II 6 credits
And at least 6 credits of 3000/4000 ARTH:
  ARTH 3100 Special Topics in Art History (rotating topics, may be taken multiple times) 3 credits
  ARTH 3121 Italian Renaissance and Mannerist Art 3 credits
  ARTH 3122 Art and the Age of Revolution 3 credits
  ARTH 3130 Film and the City 3 credits
  ARTH 3140 History of Photography 3 credits
  ARTH 3150 New Media in Art 3 credits
And at least 12 credits of 3000 level studio electives selected from the following:
  FINA 3110 Introduction to Curatorial Studies 3 credits
  FINA 3112 Public Art: Theory and Practice 3 credits
  FINA 3113 Subversive Art 3 credits
  FINA 3131 Wall Works 3 credits
  FINA 3133 Forming Stories 3 credits
  FINA 3135 Advanced Digital Media: Open Studio I 3 credits
  FINA 3147 Issues in Contemporary Art II 3 credits
  FINA 3150 Telling Lies Again - Making Narrative Art 3 credits
  FINA 3170 Advanced Film Photography 3 credits
  FINA 3201 Artistic practice in the Community 3 credits
  FINA 3202 Special Topics in Studio Arts (rotating topics, may be taken multiple times) 3 credits
  FINA 3235 Advanced Digital Media: Open Studio 2 3 credits
  FINA 3270 Advanced Digital Photography 3 credits
  FINA 3280 Performance Art I 3 credits
  FINA 3380 Performance Art II 3 credits


  • Courses will be offered on a rotating basis (i.e. not all courses will be available in a given year). KPU will ensure, however, that the necessary requirement of courses will be offered for a student to graduate in a four-year period.
  • If you plan to earn a BFA degree from KPU, please review the list of BFA required lower level courses and consult an Arts degree advisor if you have questions about planning your program of studies.
  • Students coming from another accredited institution should apply for transfer credit to obtain credits that could be applied to the BFA degree.
  • Students may apply to graduate with a Certificate or Diploma in Fine Arts as they complete requirements for those credentials while pursuing a BFA degree.
  • If you choose to opt out of the BFA degree program during the course of your studies, you may choose to apply for our Certificate or Diploma programs, and receive either of these credentials.

Credential Awarded

Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual Arts.

At a Glance

Faculty of Arts

Fine Arts

Implementation Date:

  • 01-Sep-2011

Start Date(s):

  • Fall Intake (September)  September
  • Spring Intake (January)  January
  • Summer Intake (May)  May

Intake Type:

  • Open Intake  Open intake

Instructional Cycle:

  • Semester-based

Program Type:

  • Undergraduate

Credential Granted:

  • Baccalaureate Degree

Minimum Credits Required:

  • 120

Offered At:

  • KPU Surrey  Surrey


  • Full-time  Full-time
  • Part-time  Part-time

How to Declare:

Applying to KPU:

Last Updated: 15-Jun-2015

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